Marston Moat, Trudoxhill

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are earthwork remains

NameMarston Moat, Trudoxhill
Alternative NamesMarston-Bigot
Historic CountrySomerset
Modern AuthoritySomerset
1974 AuthoritySomerset
Civil ParishTrudoxhill

A rectangular moated site situated on low lying ground east of the River Frome. The moated site includes an island, measuring 33 metres east-west and 36 metres north-south. The island is level with the surrounding ground surface but has a low bank, 3 metres wide and 0.3 metres high, running along the south and east sides. Surrounding the island is a water filled moat, 7 metres wide. In the north west corner is what is believed to be a submerged causeway across the moat. Marston moat is believed to be the site of the manor house of the Bigot family who held it from before 1195 but who incurred the displeasure of Edward II for fortifying it without a license. Probably rented out as a farmhouse by the mid 15th century. (PastScape)

Marston Moat is a well preserved example of its class and is unusual in possessing a substantial outer bank. Despite being overgrown with trees and being eroded by burrowing animals, it will contain archaeological and environmental information relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.

The monument includes a rectangular moated site situated on low lying ground east of the River Frome. The moated site includes an island, measuring 33m east-west and 36m north- south. The island is level with the surrounding ground surface but has a low bank, approximately 3m wide and 0.3m high, running along the south and east sides. Surrounding the island is a water filled moat, approximately 7m wide, which, at the north west corner, flows into a field drain system. In the north west corner is what is believed to be a submerged causeway across the moat. Unusually for this class of monument, the moat is surrounded by a substantial outer bank. The bank is not apparent at the extreme north west and south west corners and has an opening, possibly original, on the west side. Elsewhere it has an average width of 13m and varies between 1.8m and 2.25m in height

Marston moat is believed to be the site of the manor house of the Bigot family who held it from before 1195 but who incurred the displeasure of Edward II for fortifying it without a license. (Scheduling Report)

Richard de Bigod ... who, incurring the displeasure of King Edw. II. by fortifying his mansion here without licence, and disrespecting the King's messenger, forfeited his land here to the crown, and it was assigned in trust for a certain time to William de Meriet, John de Meriet, and others (Cart. Antiq.). (Collinson)

Gatehouse Comments

Collinson reference is too vague to identify and anyway may just show that the land was held in trust and not the supposed reason for it being taken into royal hands. The site was clearly a moated house but other than Collinson's comment there is nothing to suggest greater fortification than this. It should be noted than medieval latin references to 'fortification' are open to several interpretations including garrisoning and the royal displeasure is much more likely to have been about a show of armed force to the king's messenger rather than anything about the structure of this building or the absence of the kings licence (in medieval terms licence generally meant 'freedom to' rather than being a permit).

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceST767438
Latitude51.1931304931641
Longitude-2.33420991897583
Eastings376740
Northings143810
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

No photos available. If you can provide pictures please contact Castlefacts

Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.

Calculate Print

Books

  • Dunning, Robert, 1995, Somerset Castles (Somerset Books) p. 60
  • Collinson, J., 1791, The History and Antiquities of the County of Somerset (Bath) Vol. 2 p. 213-4 online copy

Journals

  • 1983, Transactions of the Ancient Monuments Society Vol. 27 p. 94-6
  • McGarvie, M., 1974, 'Marston House: a study...' Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Vol. 118 p. 15-16

Primary Sources

  • Cartae Antiquae ???

Other

  • Historic England, 2015, Heritage at Risk South West Register 2015 (London: Historic England) p. 192 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2014, Heritage at Risk Register 2014 South West (London: English Heritage) p. 202 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2013, Heritage at Risk Register 2013 South West (London: English Heritage) p. 193 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2012, Heritage at Risk Register 2012 South West (London: English Heritage) p. 203 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011 South West (London: English Heritage) p. 186 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2010, Heritage at Risk Register 2010 South West (London: English Heritage) p. 181 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009 South West (London: English Heritage) p. 185 online copy